A few Januarys ago, my friend Drew called me for tips on planning his cross-country drive from Michigan to California. I gave him a few ideas and then said, “How about you pick me up in Pennsylvania and I’ll copilot?” A week later, we were rolling West on a very cold, very beautiful winter road trip through Colorado, Utah, Nevada and California.
In Colorado, driving the scenic route north up highway 550 between Durango and Silverton, we passed through the tiny mountain town of Ouray, where we were greeted by a crazy traffic jam and a banner across the road announcing the 16th annual Ouray Ice Climbing Festival. Never one to pass up a flash of road trip serendipity, we shelved our driving plans for the day and joined the spectators at the edge of the ice park.
Within a few…
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